This year, we have an amazing group of leaders– every single one has done a tremendous job leading or assisting Youthlinc teams in the past. Read more about the stellar individuals who will be working hard to ensure that our 2014 teams have a wonderful service leadership experience.
Scott Bawden — Thailand 2014
This is Scott’s fourth year with Youthlinc and his third as Team Leader. On Scott’s first trip he took his son and had such an amazing experience, he had to return as soon as possible. Scott went last year (2011) with his daughter and had another wonderful and magical experience. This year Scott returned again with his son as Alum Leader and were a great leadership duo.
For Scott, Kenya is a magical place with some of the most kind, caring, and generous people you will ever meet. Scott has been involved with youth service projects for the last 15 years and absolutely loves spending time with the type of young people that get involved with Youthlinc. The students that he has had the privilege of working with the past 3 years are some of the most amazing people he has ever met and he can’t wait to meet another wonderful group for Kenya 2013. The Youthlinc experience is life changing and one of the most amazing experiences he has ever had.
Scott has a beautiful wife Michelle. They have been married for 24 years and have 3 wonderful children. Kevin is 20 and participated in 2010 with Youthlinc. Jaclyn is 18 and went last year to Kenya and Jill is 14. He has two awesome beagles named Tucker and Hunter. Other than traveling to Kenya with Youthlinc, Scott’s favorite things to do are golfing, jeeping, rapelling off of arches, listening to rock music (if it’s too loud, you’re too old), going to any Utah Utes games and going to Lake Powell. Scott works at the University of Utah School of Medicine as a Computer Professional which means he’s pretty much just a computer geek. He also has his own computer repair company which keeps him extra busy but allows him the ability to do lots of playing.
Scott can’t say enough good things about the Youthlinc program and especially the Kenya teams he has had the fortune of working with. Kenya 2013 will be another exciting adventure as we return for a second year to a small village named Kajuki and get to learn to love the people there and help them help themselves to a better way of life. At the same time they will teach us how to be happy and joyful no matter our circumstances in life.
Welcome to one of the best experiences of your life! I had the chance to go to Kenya in 2009 as a mentor and was sucked into the Youthlinc volunteer vortex and haven’t been able to get out since (not that I would want to)! I can’t begin to tell you how excited I am to be able to return to Cambodia again this year. I was the Team Leader in 2012, to the village of Chung Ruk, Cambodia, and again in 2013 to the village of Svay Arrt and I cannot wait to return to the wonderful people there.
By day, I am a school counselor at an elementary school in Herriman. Over the last 23 years I have worked with youth in various psychiatric settings and love working with children and teenagers! In my free time I have a difficult time choosing between a good book, the vegetables in my garden or the fish just waiting to be caught. I love being outdoors in the summer so the fall is a traumatic time of year as this tends to come to a screeching halt. However, planning for a fantastic trip to Cambodia seems to get me through the winters in Utah.
I am thrilled to get to know you and can’t wait to get started on this wonderful adventure once again!!
Britnie has been involved with Youthlinc since the beginning. She was on the pilot expedition to Kenya in 2000. Since then she has been committed to continuing service both locally and globally. Britnie has returned to Kenya several times doing humanitarian work, traveled to Peru with Youthlinc on an alum trip, taught English in China, participated in an expedition to Guatemala, and has led Youthlinc teams to Thailand, Kenya, Cambodia, Peru and Vietnam. The work Britnie has done in other countries inspired her to become a teacher.
Britnie has a Masters of Education degree and currently teaches 6th grade at the Salt Lake Center for Science Education. In her class she integrates service learning, in which the students do a range of service projects: supporting a local care center for the elderly, environmental projects, organic gardening, teaching science to kindergarteners, helping the humane society, and they have even helped Youthlinc put together hygiene kits! Locally, Britnie has been involved with the Boys and Girls Club, volunteered at Cottonwood Hospital, the Battered Woman’s Shelter, has tutored ESL students, made meals for the homeless, and has been a Sub-4-Santa for many years. She likes spending time playing the guitar, reading, and riding her bike. She also enjoys adventures of animals. In her classroom she has a pet tarantula, two snakes, some lizards and frogs, and a rabbit named Abner. Britnie is married to Justin (another Youthlinc team leader!) and has one son, Atticus, and loves spending time experiencing new places with them. She is stoked to be leading the Kenya Service Team this year!
Justin has been involved with Youthlinc since 2008. He has been a team leader to Cambodia and Vietnam, and a mentor in Thailand, Cambodia, and Peru. What Justin loves most about Youthlinc is that it is a vehicle for participants to gain a new lens through which to view the world. Through acts of local service, preparations for international projects, and implementing projects abroad, Justin’s mindset has been forever altered in how he perceives his role in the world. Justin has especially enjoyed working on the education and micro-finance committees, and has had some incredible and humbling experiences helping to pilot Youthlinc’s livestock exchange program; first in Cambodia in 2011, and then in Peru in 2012. That program is now a part of all Youthlinc sites in some way. He also loves to help students find the power and motivation within themselves to become active, compassionate citizens in the world.
Justin worked as a business professional for several years before making a career change to the education profession. He has degrees in International Business and a Master’s of Teaching from Westminster College, and a degree in English from the University of Utah. He has taught business and economics at West High and is currently teaching English, World Civ, Financial Lit, and Computer Tech at the Salt Lake Center for Science Education. In the past, Justin has lived in Australia, Egypt, South Korea, and Vietnam. He has volunteered locally teaching ESL to adults, teaching writing to kids, and is highly involved in promoting awareness about human trafficking. Justin loves volunteering with his wife, Britnie, a Youthlinc original, all through the year and internationally every summer. They have one son, Atticus, who accompanied them to Vietnam in 2013 and will be coming on their adventure to Kenya in summer 2014.
Stephanie Chard – Vietnam 2014
Stephanie’s involvement with Youthlinc began in 2006 on her service trip to Yanamono, Peru. She found this to be a life changing experience that opened her eyes and heart to serving others. Stephanie has participated in several humanitarian missions over the years, and recently served as the Alum Leader for Cambodia in 2012. She looks forward to working again with this wonderful organization and is excited to inspire young individuals to serve on both a local and international level.
Stephanie graduated from the University of San Diego and currently works as the CEO for The Training Table Restaurants in Salt Lake City. In her free time she enjoys participating in various athletic endeavors. She loves the sport of triathlon and will be competing in the Ironman Boulder in 2014. Stephanie also loves to spend time with her three pets, Lucy, Lily and Bella. She is thrilled to be the Team Leader for Vietnam, and can’t wait to meet her team!
Ruth Adolphson – Guatemala 2014
Youthlinc rocks!! Ruth is so excited to be team leading again to the beautiful country of Guatemala. This is her third year team leading. Ruth first team led in Thailand and loved her experience there with the beautiful Thai people. She came home and immediately wanted to be involved again. The next year she had the opportunity to lead in Guatemala and is thrilled to be there again. Service opens hearts and doors and if you truly want to understand and love someone, serve them! That has been Ruth’s Youthlinc experience. She developed a great love for the people of Guatemala and was especially touched by their gracious kindness, acceptance, and love. Ruth has also developed a great love for her Youthlinc teams. The kids that join Youthlinc give her hope for the future! She has loved the connections she has made with them and the chance to change the world, one Youthlinc experience at a time.
Last year Youthlinc did some amazing projects in Guatemala – building bunk beds, setting up an agricultural system, teaching, and doing beautification projects like building eco-benches and cementing walkways. Ruth can’t wait to continue our work with Ak’Tenamit and the village of Quebrada Seca and knows that we’ll be able to make a difference and make more connections this year. Ruth especially loves that Youthlinc focuses on sustainable development and education to empower people, not to mention the empowering and moving experience that happens for every Youthlinc participant. She is so excited to be working with the Guatemalans and to help them create a better future.
When she’s not Youthlincing, Ruth teach biology and anatomy/physiology at Cyprus High School. She loves her job and loves working with youth. The best part (besides summers!) is seeing students become excited about the world around them and gain an understanding of how life works. Ruth also coaches and advises the HOSA chapter. She gets to spend her summers traveling, gardening, reading, hiking, camping, and spending time with family and friends.
Jeff started his Youthlinc experience as a mentor with the 2010 Peru team and he returned to Palmeras as the 2011 Peru Team Leader. Jeff served a religious mission to Okayama, Japan and has extensive international travel experience from when he was the Asia-Pacific Sales Manager for Rolls-Royce Energy.
Jeff has consistently been involved with service, especially when it involves youth. He served as a Boys Scouts of America Scoutmaster for 5 years in Columbus, Georgia. Jeff volunteered as a youth soccer coach for 17 years helping countless youth grow in character and stature. He has also served as a board member and club president for the Heber Valley Storm Competitive Soccer Club. He serves as a High School and youth soccer referee (something he has done in his spare time for the past 14 years), which has given him the opportunity to be around youth and understand how to mentor them. Jeff is currently a member of the Heber Valley Rotary club and has been involved for more than 9 years with the various service projects they perform.
Jeff is employed by day as the Executive Director of Marketing and Sales for Marsh Creek, LLC – an Alaskan Native Corporation involved in the Oil, Gas and Energy markets. When Jeff is not traveling for work, he enjoys boating, hiking, camping, skiing, jogging and yard work. He runs the Ragnar with Ramona even if it’s not his favorite thing to do.
He is looking forward to returning to Peru with another group of youth and seeing the lives of the villagers and students changed.
Ramona started her Youthlinc experience as a mentor with the 2011 Peru Team. She has a Bachelor of English Education and has taught 9th, 11th, and 12th grade English. She currently teaches her favorite grades—7th and 8th English and journalism at Rocky Mountain Middle School in Wasatch County. She just completed her English as a Second Language endorsement and served for two years as department chair. Ramona has also been a board member of the Wasatch County Friends of the Library, an English tutor in an English credit recovery program for high school students. She has been a member of multiple PTA groups over the years, usually as a reading tutor.
Ramona loves running, gardening, hiking, reading and spending time with her family. Every year, she and her family run at least one race together. Their favorite race is the Idaho Falls, Idaho Firecracker 5K. Their most memorable races have been the 2010 and 2011 Wasatch Back Ragnar. Ramona loves the people of Peru and is excited for the opportunity go with the 2014 team.
ASSISTANT TEAM LEADERS
Abi Scoma – Thailand 2014
Abi Scoma is twenty years old and is currently studying behavioral science at UVU. She first discovered Youthlinc when she was just 16 years old. She went to Kenya and had the most incredible experiences there. Her life was “truly changed by this organization and the amazing people that work for it.” Abi is passionate about the work that Youthlinc does, and she is stoked to contribute to another great year in Youthlinc!
In Abi’s free time, she loves hiking, traveling, meeting new people, eating food and watching Netflix. She is so excited and honored to be the Assistant Team Leader for this year’s Thailand Team.
Jessica Roueche – Kenya 2014
Jessica recently married Colton Roueche and is attending Utah State University where her major is Human Movement: Exercise Science. Jessica is so stoked to be the ATL for the amazing country of Kenya. This is her third year volunteering with Youthlinc. She first began in 2012 serving in Yanamono II, Peru. Once she came home from her service trip, she was hooked. The following year she traveled with the F&F trip to Song Cau, Vietnam. Service is Jessica’s most important value. Locally and internationally, wherever- there are lives being forever humbled by the help of volunteers. She is grateful to Youthlinc for expanding her volunteerism abroad and is eager to assist in spreading the joys that service brings to others.
Alexis Stevens – Vietnam 2014
This will be Alexis’ second service year with Youthlinc since 2009, when she was a student participant on the Kenya team. Making connections with others through local service and experiencing a culture where people are living in poverty inspired her to become a lifetime humanitarian.
Since her first experience with Youthlinc, she has participated in other humanitarian organizations, including the Child Rescue Association of North America (a charity dedicated to combating human trafficking and child sex slavery in the U.S) and organizations helping kids and teens with disabilities. Alexis lived in Australia in 2012 for five months, working for the Global Poverty Project, where she had the opportunity to be part of production of the Global Citizen Festival. The concert was held in Central Park in New York City and raised funds for polio eradication and other projects to help end extreme poverty (it even headlined one of her favorite bands, The Black Keys!). Alexis also participated in a global campaign called Live Below The Line, where she lived on only $1.50 per day for food for 5 days to raise money and awareness for those living below the extreme poverty line.
Alexis loves working alongside other service-minded individuals, and some of her favorite experiences have involved working on humanitarian projects with teenagers and high school students. She has been deeply inspired to see that more and more youth are displaying an outstanding dedication to fighting for positive change in our world.
In her rare moments outside of work, school, and volunteering, Alexis loves spending time with friends and family, hiking, camping, fishing, rock climbing, snowboarding, boxing, reading, writing, discovering new music, and playing guitar. Alexis is always up for a good adventure, and she’s excited for this year’s Youthlinc team to share our next adventure in Vietnam!
Last year, Amanda Phillips was a student participant on the Youthlinc Guatemala 2013 Team. After returning from this trip, she couldn’t wait to apply for another year of service with Youthlinc. Amanda now looks forward to preparing for Peru as the Assistant Team Leader.
Amanda’s first exposure to international service was in Thailand with Westminster College during May of 2012. On this service-learning trip Amanda fell in love with the people she came into contact with and served. This trip taught Amanda the importance of learning from those you serve. Amanda deeply believes that, “We all have knowledge, passion, and culture that makes people unique. It is important to understand and respect these differences.” After Amanda returned home from Thailand, she had been “bit by the travel bug” and had to return. So she participated as an alumni her senior year during May of 2013. After graduating June of 2013 from Westminster College with a Bachelors of Science in Public Health, Amanda headed to Guatemala with Youthlinc. While in Guatemala, Amanda taught reproductive health lessons on several different occasions. She also taught the women how to make bracelets, known as Cycle Beads, as a reminder of the likelihood of fertility at that point during the month. Through Youthlinc, Amanda was empowered to utilize her degree in Public Health, as well as lead those she served alongside.
Amanda is the happiest when she is living out of a suit case and traveling the world. However, when Amanda is grounded in Salt Lake City, Utah, she loves to hike, snowboard, and spend time with the children at the Hser Ner Moo Community and Welcome Center. The children that attend the Hser Ner Moo after school program are refugees from around the world. Amanda has worked with these children for almost two years and has developed a profound love for the refugees in South Salt Lake City, Utah.
As the oldest of five children in her family, Amanda looks forward to being the “big sister” to a group of students this next year as the team prepares for Peru!
Last year, Carter had the wonderful opportunity to be a part of the Cambodia team and it forever changed his life for the better. Not only did he have an incredible time in country, but also learned to love local service and it has since become an essential element of his life. He could not be more grateful and excited to go back to Cambodia.
Carter fell in love with the kind, generous, and caring culture of Cambodia along with the genuine sincerity of all the people there. From the instant he left the village, he knew that he would return. He is thrilled to be serving as an ATL so that he can help other participants experience what he was able to do, hoping that they too will become lifetime humanitarians!
Jordan is 22 and a senior at the University of Utah, double majoring in Psychology with a History minor and Social studies composite. She hopes to become a High School teacher, at Herriman High School where she currently coaches fast-pitch softball. Jordan loves education and has grown to love it even more throughout her experience with Youthlinc.
Jordan became a part of Youthlinc this past year and plans to stick around for years to come. She had the opportunity to be on the 2013 Kenya Team and has fallen in love with not only the organization, and people of Kajuki, Kenya, but also, in love with service. Service “has completely changed my life, I not only discover who I am when serving, but it allows me to see the potential I have in myself to make a difference in the world around me.” Jordan believes that the smallest acts of service, local or international have a huge impact in changing the world. Service that is given with little or no thought of yourself, is something that we can achieve only by making it a habit. We start to build this habit through local service, we put it into action at our international sites and learn to make it a priority once we return home. Jordan has made service a habit in her life and she is happier because of it.
Through service, Jordan found a place where she belongs and she is excited for the future and helping lead a Youthlinc team to Ak’ Tenamit, Guatemala.